clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Animal Crossing: New Horizons ordinances guide

How to enact ordinances on your island

Isabelle from Animal Crossing: New Horizons Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Animal Crossing: New Horizons 2.0 now has ordinances, which let you set a rule for your island to fit your play style. Our Animal Crossing: New Horizons ordinances guide discusses how ordinances work, the best ordinances, ordinance times and hours, and why maybe ordinances are not showing up yet.

Table of contents

ACNH ordinances

ACNH ordinances, explained

Ordinances are rules that you can set for your island. Ordinances may change the times your shops open and your villagers wake up, or even make it so that weeds are automatically pulled up across your island. You can only have one ordinance active at a time, so you’ll need to pick what’s best for your play style.

How do I unlock ordinances in Animal Crossing?

To unlock ordinances, you’ll first need to upgrade your island enough to unlock Resident Services so Isabelle shows up on your island.

Then you’ll need to get a three-star town rating.

The day after you get a three-star rating, K.K. Slider will arrive on the island and perform.

The day after K.K. Slider performs, Isabelle will start the day by letting you know that ordinances have been unlocked.

“I’m happy to announce that special rules called ordinances can now be enacted here on Tachtopia,” Isabelle says in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Isabelle announces ordinances.
Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

To set an ordinance, choose the following options when speaking to Isabelle in the Resident Services building:

  1. Review island features
  2. Discuss ordinances

Setting up an ordinance requires a hefty 20,000 Bells to begin. After choosing to pay the fee, Isabelle will walk you through the process of selecting and enacting an ordinance.

What do the different ordinances do?

There are several ordinances you can enable in the Animal Crossing: New Horizons update. Each one does something different to your island. We’ll explain ACNH ordnance times, ordnance hours, and you can chose the best ordnance for your needs.

Beautiful Island ordinance

No cockroaches will appear, no trash will get fished up, weeds grow less often, and villagers will water flowers more often.

Early Bird ordinance

Your villagers will wake up about an hour or so earlier, and shops will also open an hour earlier. (They’ll still close at the usual time.)

Night Owl ordinance

Your residents will go to bed anywhere from 1-2 hours later, and shops will close an hour later. (They’ll still open at the usual time.)

Bell Boom ordinance

The cost of goods goes up, but so does the amount of money you make from selling items.

After choosing an ordinance, it will take effect starting the next day. If you want to change your mind after setting up an ordinance, you’ll have to wait for the next day for it to go into effect before switching to something new.

Update (Nov. 8): We’ve updated this guide with more specific information about the ordinances.

Update (Nov. 12): After (lots of) testing, we confirmed that you must first have a three-star town rating in Animal Crossing: New Horizons before Isabelle makes ordinances available. We’ve updated the guide to reflect this.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon